Our Top Five Books of 2017: Fiona

Top 5 Books - Fiona

As much as I love to read, my schedule does not allow for lots of uninterrupted reading time, so I am very happy to belong to a book club which makes me read – sometimes very fast, and sometimes at the last minute. Because of my book club, this year I read some books that I would not normally choose in my regular book diet of mysteries, historical fiction, cookbooks, and books that I read with my kids. Here are some of my book highlights from 2017.

What Alice Forgot, by Liane Moriarty. I have read several books by this author, whose book Big Little Lies has been made into an award-winning series by HBO. This novel is about Alice, who gets knocked out at the gym, and when she wakes up has forgotten ten years of her life. As it turns out, the last ten years for Alice were very eventful, including the birth of three children, the break-up of her marriage, and the disintegration of her relationship with her sister. I was intrigued by the subject matter and it was engaging all the way through. Also, it got me thinking: what if I couldn’t remember the last ten years of my life?

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, by Timothy Snyder. There is a bit of a local connection to this book, as Timothy Snyder is a professor at Yale. I read this in the summer and chose it for my book club because I thought it would be great for discussion. Snyder says that we need to learn from the past to protect our democracy and provides achievable actions that we can all choose to do. This book is a kind of “how to” resist tyranny with twenty calls to action. It is an easy read but there is a lot of food for thought and it is the kind of book that you go back to read again. I think this is the book which I have talked about the most all year, and I have also gifted it to several people.

Murder on the Orient Express, byAgatha Christie. In 2017 I re-read a few books, including my favorite Agatha Christie. It was a little bit of a trip down memory lane, but I also read this book to discuss it with my high school daughter. She enjoys lots of science fiction and dystopian novels, so in an effort to broaden her range, we read a couple of books together. When we read this book I did not realize that there was a new movie coming out, but I always like to read the book first anyway. It was fun to read and see how Christie ratchets up the tension, even when you know the ending!

Digging to America, by Anne Tyler. This book was about two American families who meet at the airport when their adopted daughters arrive from Korea. Despite their differing ethnicities, personalities, and circumstances, they keep in touch and establish an annual “Arrival Day” event to celebrate their daughters’ adoption. The book explores the relationships that develop between the two families over time and looks at questions of adoption, culture, belonging, and family. All of these themes are close to my heart as an immigrant and adoptive parent. Additionally, this book had beautiful descriptive writing which painted a picture for the reader.

The Rover Adventures (The Giggler Treatment, Rover Saves Christmas, The Meanwhile Adventures), by Roddy Doyle. This year, a friend gave my youngest kids a copy of Doyle’s Rover books (three in one), and my kids laughed their heads off through all three. Roddy Doyle is a well-known Irish author who has written novels for children and adults, as well as screenplays and short stories. His books are rich in dialogue and his children’s books have been described as “madcap” — which is completely accurate! This trilogy is the story of the Mack family and their dog Rover. In The Giggler Treatment we read about the Gigglers, who are there to look after children and punish adults who are mean or unfair to them. The giggler “treatment” referred to in the title is “poo on the shoe.” It is basically reading gold for kids, as there is a lot of discussion about poop. The following books are equally hilarious and imaginative, with lots of quirky characters and a talking dog.

FionaFiona Bradford is the Assistant Director at New Haven Reads. She earned a Master of Arts degree in Nonprofit Organizations from the University of Georgia and a Postgraduate Certificate in Economics from the University of London. In addition to her experience in development, Fiona has experience in project management and planning, as well as a passion for helping nonprofit organizations. She formerly worked in Yale’s Office of Development and for various multinationals, including Diageo and Tate & Lyle. She joined New Haven Reads in May 2011.

Categories Book Bank | Tags: | Posted on January 19, 2018

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